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Media release –

One month until Australia's largest online event

9 July 2016 | CO/94

Media note: Stills and videos are available on request.

In just one month’s time, millions of people across Australia will pause to complete the 17th national Census of Population and Housing, in what could be the country’s largest and most significant online event.

The 2016 Census will employ more than 39,000 temporary staff who will travel a distance equivalent to almost 200 trips around the circumference of the planet in order to count over 24-million people in about 10-million households, who come from over 200 countries and speak over 300 different languages.

Head of the 2016 Census, Duncan Young, said the August 9 Census will be the easiest and most accessible ever, with people able to complete their Census from their own home on their smartphone, tablet or computer. We expect 16 million people to complete the survey online.

“Later this month and into early August, the ABS will deliver some 10 million letters
to every household around the country in preparation for Census night,” Mr Young said.

“These letters will be addressed ‘To the Resident’ and include a unique login and instructions on how to complete the Census online, as well as details on how to request a paper Census form.”

While a majority of Australians won’t hear from the ABS for a few weeks to come, Census Remote Area Mobile Team Leader, Steven Pearce, has driven 4,500km across northern Australia in the last two weeks, to ensure everyone in his remote area is counted as part of the Census.

“Within the 160,000 square kilometre area which I’m helping to count, I estimate there’d be less than 3,000 people living here, but that does not mean the data is less important,” Mr Pearce said.

“My primary task now is to make contact with the communities and all the relevant stakeholders in those communities and lay a bit of groundwork which will enable us to carry out the Census in as efficient manner as possible.”

Mr Young said the ABS’ 105 Remote Area Mobile teams highlight the ABS’ extensive efforts to ensure everyone in Australia completes a Census form wherever they are on Census night.

The national Census has been a part of Australia since just after Federation and provides the most comprehensive and accurate picture of our rapidly growing and changing population.

Despite 16 previous Censuses over 105 years, the 2016 Census will coincide with the Olympics for the first time ever this year. Mr Young hopes that while Australians are waiting for the swimming finals to start on August 9 they will do their bit for the country by completing their Census.

“The 2016 Census is Australia’s moment to pause and make a difference, and help shape the future of Australia’s investment in housing, roads, schools and hospitals.” Mr Young said.

For more information about the Census visit www.census.abs.gov.au or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Background information on the 2016 Census of Population and Housing

Data collected from the 2016 Census will support funding decisions for services and infrastructure including housing, transport, education, industry, hospitals, and the environment.

Data from the 2011 Census revealed that Australians come from more than 200 countries, speak more than 300 languages, belong to more than 100 religious groups and work more than 1,000 occupations.

Key 2016 Census dates:

July to Aug 2016 Census Field Staff visit remote communities
Late July to early Aug 2016Census Instruction letters and forms will be delivered
9 August 2016Census night
Mid Aug to late Sept 2016Household visits
April 2017The first results from the 2016 Census released

Media inquiries

National Media Manager (P) 02 6252 6617, 8.30am to 5.00pm, Monday to Friday or 0429 955 731 outside of business hours (E)

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